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If you skipped Windows Vista and stuck with Windows XP, chances are good that you are now seriously considering moving to Windows 7 after it's released on October 22. If so, there is much for you to do. Not only should you begin planning for your operating system migration, but you should begin learning as much as you can about Windows 7. Here are 10 things you can do to get ready for the switch.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: Check your hardware

Windows 7 was designed to be lean in terms of hardware, so that it will be able to function satisfactorily on sub-powered netbooks. If you're running Windows XP on a computer manufactured within the last three or four years, chances are good that Windows 7 will run fine on your system. However, you can make sure that your hardware is compatible by running Microsoft's Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will perform a detailed scan of your entire system, checking hardware, programs, and peripheral devices. Once the scan is complete, the Upgrade Advisor will display a report telling you whether your system meets the hardware requirements and idenfying are any known compatibility issues with your programs and devices. If it finds problems, the Upgrade Advisor will provide suggestions you can use to better analyze your upgrade options to Windows 7.



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